Manchester United & Chelsea get boost in Rakitic chase

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Manchester United and Chelsea will have been boosted by comments from Tata Martino over transfer target Ivan Rakitic.

According to Talksport, both Old Trafford boss David Moyes and his counterpart at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho, are both interested in acquiring the Croatia international this summer.

However, the Sevilla star was also connected with an interest from La Liga leaders Barcelona, but manager Tata Martino moved to dampen speculation about a summer move for him after a Lionel Messi brace helped his side to a 4-1 win over Rakitic and his teammates.

"Sevilla have many players of a high level. [Carlos] Bacca and [midfielder] Vitolo, for example, in addition to those you have mentioned," he is quoted as saying in the Talksport report after being quizzed about potential interest.

"But the fact that I like the way they play does not mean they will come to Barcelona. I have not had a single meeting to prepare for next season yet."

Manchester United and Chelsea will hope this remains the case come the summer, when both could need to make some additions to their respective squads following departures.

Rakitic has been in sensational form this season and has stood out for a Sevilla side that has had something of a toppsy-turvy season.

The defeat at home to Barcelona on Sunday was their third in a row since going eight Primera Division games without loss.

Moyes and Mourinho will be hoping the difficult financial situation at the Seville club will mean they are unable to resist a substantial bid for the 25-year-old, though his club will be hoping he can perform in the World Cup in Brazil this summer to push up any starting price in a potential bidding war.

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